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We're into conference play, and the schedules for each league usually fall on the same days now. For instance, there are a lot of Thursday-Saturday, Wednesday-Saturday and Friday-Sunday combinations, especially for the mid-major conferences. We'll take a look at some late-week specialities after a light early portion of the week. There are some nice plays below, but look into the games a little deeper than just the overall standings and ATS record for the season. Some teams have been hot, but their overall record doesn't necessarily display that. In fact, some of these teams were bludgeoned by the big conference clubs in money games on the road, and are not taking revenge on their conference brethren. They might be around .500 or slightly above, but they are much better against lesser competition, and it is starting to show.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (6-16 SU, 4-14 ATS): Otherwise known as IUPUI, the Jaguars had falled on hard times again after making some inroads a few weeks ago. The Jags have lost six straight games overall, and failed to cover their past three games. Now, they hit the road for a pair of conference tilts this week. Their first stop is at Oakland (8-13 SU, 7-11 ATS). This game doesn't look particularly attractive for betting from either side. However, Saturday's game at IU-Fort Wayne (9-12 SU, 7-7-1 ATS) will be interesting. While the Mastodons have not been close to elite, they have won seven of their eight games overall at home.
This week: at Oakland, Thursday; at IU-Fort Wayne, Saturday
North Texas (8-12 SU, 5-10 ATS): The Mean Green have actually rebounded a little bit lately, covering two of their past three and three of the past six. However, they are just 3-5 ATS in Sun Belt play, and they face two difficult matchups this week at home in Denton. We haven't touched on this much, but the total is the reason to pay attention to UNT. The under has cashed in each of their past four games. Keep an eye on the total for Thursday's game against Middle Tennessee State (16-4 SU, 7-9 ATS), a team which has been playing well and could lockdown North Texas on the offensive end.
This week: Middle Tennessee, Thursday; Arkansas-Little Rock, Saturday
Rider (11-9 SU, 11-7 ATS): Looking at the numbers on paper, the Broncs look like a fairly middlin team. They are barely above .500 overall, and have a so-so percentage against the spread. However, they have rattled off seven straight covers, including five straight straight-up wins and six covers in the MAAC. Another thing to keep an eye on will be the totals for Rider games. The under has cashed in three successive outings, and is 6-2 in their eight eligible games this season.
This week: Canisius, Friday; Manhattan, Sunday
Siena (4-15 SU, 4-11 ATS): The Saints have failed to cover each of their past two games, and 11 of 15 overall this season. Siena is another MAAC team, like Rider, worth taking advantage. However, unlike most teams with this kind of dismal record, the Saints are a recommended play in their first game Friday against Niagara (11-8 SU, 7-8 ATS). Sure, the Purple Eagles just blasted Siena Jan. 17 at home, 87-64. But Siena has covered three straight games at home, and they will likely be getting double-digit points from visiting Niagara. In their second game at Marist (5-14 SU, 6-7 ATS), the Red Foxes are an equally poor team, but watch that line closely. If the line is favorable, bet Marist since Siena is 0-8 ATS on the road and in neutral-site games this year.
This week: Niagara, Friday; at Marist, Sunday
Tennessee State (12-8 SU, 10-6 ATS): The Tigers of Tennessee State are worth paying attention as well. They have rattled off covers in six straight games, and they are 6-1 in conference play in the OVC. They proved not quite ready for prime time last time out against Belmont in Nashville Saturday, dropping a 78-66 decision. But, as mentioned, they covered. Also, watch the OVC totals, as they have been pretty favorable to play lately. TSU has gone over in three striaght OVC games, and five of their past six. You can make a lot of money off of teams in the Ohio Valley Conference other than Belmont and Murray State, two of the more heralded programs.
This week: at Eastern Kentucky, Thursday; at Morehead State, Saturday